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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  May 13, 2016 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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we have dramatically increased our covert testing, internal covert testing and we do immediate feedback into that. we provide -- i work from -- as i said, i work from the positive side of the equation, we provide reward for those people who perform well and then we turn those people into trainers for the next round of folks. we do immediate feedback. i get daily measures, workforce performance, workforce accountability. we've changed that. it's no longer based upon how long the lines are that you're working, that's a separate issue and we deal with that at the management level. but for the front line workforce, i want them to know that i want support and best possible training. we also train them on the equipment, how it operates and we give them hands on understanding of what the limitations were. there's a more fuller answer for you which i will provide, thank
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you, senator. >> you're now recognized sen to -- senator from tennessee. >> can you tell me how many tsa employees make a hundred thousand or more a year? >> i will have to get that for you. >> can you make a rough guess? >> i can make a rough guess. i don't really know, sir. >> let me ask this, do you know how many tsa employees got bonuses in the past year? >> there were -- as i said, i have restrict it had number of bonus that is we do. i will get you the exact number but it was a significant smaller number and based upon performance, not based upon special act awards. can you tell me, have you personally fired any employee -- tsa employees for misconduct or rudeness or incompetence since you've been in the office?
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>> there have been a number of people who have been fired from the agency at all levels. i came in and one of my first tasks was to determined what my agency looked like. i hold my leaders and demanded and i am confident of my team and i'm confident of team to help lead that team. today i have been satisfied with their performance although we have a long way to go. >> you heard mr. mica say that you're spending almost as much on administration as actual screening, what's your response to that? do you think that's accurate? >> well, i agree that any leader needs to look hard on the way resources are being spent. i have done so, i have done systemic review of our entire agency and the management practices of the agency.
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in fact, i moved resources around and have been working with the appropriators and oversight committee to ensure they understand where those savings can be found. i think there's more savings to be found in my bucket. some of the oversight is required to contracts that tsa has but there's always room for examination of that and i intend to do so. >> were you surprised when inspector general mentioned 18,000 complaints and criminal convictions? >> i think that was across the dhs enterprise, not all tsa. we are very large agency of about 60,000 people. it doesn't surprise that we occasionally have people that don't act well. i'm concerned about the effect -- mostly concerned about how you deal with it when you discover it and i commit that had i will work very closely with him on understanding what the nature of those allegations and misconduct are. >> i've served on the aviation subcommittee ever since i've
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been in congress and chaired it for six years and i can tell you that you have more -- well over twice as many screeners now as when it was privatized and yet there are more complaints and longer lines now that when it was privatized, do you have any explanation of that? >> well, i think there's a couple of factors there. one, there are significantly more pupil -- >> well, not that many more percentagewise. >> yes, sir. >> there's been increase, not a two and a half times increase over when it was privatized. i can assure you of that. >> we will get to the exact number. you will be surprised at much more volume to be seen and there's a lot more to worry. there's a lot more threats to the system. so the nature of passenger screening is much more complex than it was 15 years ago prior to 9/11.
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>> have you reviewed the testimony of the witnesses that we had in here a few days ago and in particular the testimony about the one administrator that you spent $12 million on a restaffing of a floor that should have cost 3 million at the most? >> i have reviewed the testimony and as i mentioned, i put significant controls over expenditures, over cost associated with those expenditures at all levels of the organization. >> now, i also heard that there were just about as many contractors as numbers of employees and yet i have read and heard that many small businesses feel they're having trouble getting meetings set up or getting phone calls returned. do you have or would you be willing to set up a small business outreach office to help so many departments and agencies
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when they become so big, just the big giants are well connected enough to get meetings and get phone calls returned. and i'm wondering if you're doing something about that. >> yes, sir, thank you for that question. i have good news to report on that front. that's one of my concerns too. i spent a fair amount of time on the acquisition side of the house and had great concern of participation and we met our small business participation targets last year for the first time ever. and we continue to do so. i don't think there's enough competition in the current marketplace and i think there's a great deal of entrepreneurial in the world. >> all right, thank you very much. >> will now recognize the congress women from illinois. >> thank you, mr. chair. administrator neffenger, you
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talked about the idea that more people and tsa needs more workers. how many passengers are currently enrolled in precheck? >> we are currently about $2.4 million. >> how and what -- what number do you think that can go to? >> well, we've done a lot of work with the u.s. travel association and other associations connected with the airline industry and we think we can get the number to 25 million by calendar year '19. >> what are you doing to ensure passengers to join the program? >> we have done a lot more to advertise the program. consistently reduce it had awareness, but two factors, one
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you have to advertise and you have to have places where people can sign up for it and those were the two areas that we needed to do a lot of work on. we have been working very closely with u.s. travel association, individual airlines the, the airline associations and the airport associations to increase their advertising, i'm please today report that all of the major airlines are doing their own conversations of advertising, some have offered the opportunity to exchange miles for precheck, we have gone through a number of u.s. chamber of commerce and to a number of the large corporations, microsoft corporation, for example, now vice precheck for all of its travelers. so those kinds of things are helping -- being -- more than double what we saw this time last year. we think it needs to get a little higher. between that and the other programs such as global and
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nexu, we believe in the associations agree with us that we can get this up to 25 million which dramatically changes we can change the system by calendar 19. .. people are carrying more and more like a john and stuffing more and more in the luggage. the big airlines made 22 billion in profit from charges. and i wanted to know, that is one of the sources. what portion of that goes
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toward paying any airport security? do they contribute in any way? >> currently the airlines do not make a direct contribution. it is on the round-trip. we are seeing more baggage come to the check point. i will say, the airlines now are being very diligent about enforcing the one plus one rule which has helped considerably. we are experimenting with what we call travel light which gives those individuals who are simple carry-on like briefcase her purse the opportunity to have a debit to have a dedicated wing allowing us to me people through. >> calling on the airline to
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help address the consequences of their business decisions because the more they charge the less people are going to check their bags. i think americans $35. that is one piece of luggage. >> well, it is the decision of the airline to make those fees. i could talk about the impact of people carrying baggage through the checkpoint. i will say that the airlines are aware of this. i understand why they made that business decision. i told them what the impact could be, and they committed to work with us to find ways to reduce stress at the checkpoint. >> and is something that they should look at. the on-time record and on and on.
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>> thank you. >> directed reassignment has been used to force out disfavored employees. do you believe this is not going crisis? >> discontinued that practice and put staunch controls on it. move people periodically the places where skills are needed, you need strong controls in the must be done in an open and transparent way that is not used to retribution. >> i'm glad you went that way. i would like to testify before this committee, issued a directed reassignment with no apparent justification to move caused him significant financial hardship.
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in your opinion was this an appropriate use and if so what is your justification? >> it is not, and that is why change the policy. >> reassigned to a smaller and less complex airport. accepting the assignment would cause them hardship. >> again, that happened before my arrival. >> am responsible now. i'm not conducting assignments in that manner. >> now, there was a directed reassignment in february 15 2 to concerns over retaliation and ultimately
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rescinded. >> i referred to the person who made that decision. >> part of the justification was to sever past loyalties. do you consider this an appropriate justification? >> that is being investigated by the office of special counsel. if they find it to be true then of course it was an appropriate. >> was he directly reassigned? >> i believe it was brought before the council hundreds then mandate and recommended
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leadership beyond that. >> was anybody? >> again, i am waiting for the results. depending upon what they find it made point to appropriate discipline. >> and the many cases with law enforcement people are put on administrative leave. >> you stand by these assignments? >> again, i will await the office of special counsel review. i don't think the manner in which we are doing directed reassignment's prior to my arrival was justifiable.
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significant controls on the process now. >> periodic, daily basis, how is it done? >> we have not done a directive reassignments. it goes through a series of objects and reviews. cost of the office of the administrator for the decision. >> i will yield back. >> a recognize the ranking member. >> i want to get down to the
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meat of what happened the other day. when the whistleblowers came in. there was a theme running throughout there testimony, and they were forthright good people. they came to us for fairness. but one of the things that they said was that there are some leadership folk, and they said there are not a lot of them to try to undermine the things that you are trying to bring about. and i felt very strongly that if these folks were not there things would run a lot smoother, and so i want to ask you, this workforce is
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running out because they think the elections are coming. other whistleblowers expressed similar concerns. administrator, have you heard this concern? the problem is just waiting you out. how do you put in systems that go beyond your tenure? deepwater horizon. make sure we had procurement officers that were trained to set up a mechanism by which they're was an inner inside the coast guard printing apparatus that is doing fine. how do you do that and keep in mind what they say?
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they were not so much complaining about you but folks under you. do you have any idea who these whistleblowers we're talking about our? >> i don't know who they were directly referring to, but let me tell you how i approach leadership of this organization. the 1st thing you have to do is set clear standards and expectations. it is directly related to getting the security mission done. the people who report directly to me and are responsible collectively for the performance. if you fail to perform i will hold you accountable.
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i do so by requiring them to report back with specific measures of performance. i know how hard i am working and how long they are there. if i merited o'clock and manning call somebody they are there at 8:00 o'clock at night. a leadership team that is driven and pointed in the right direction. that stays there in the event i am not here after the election? first of all, inspire the workforce to the mission the 1st took the oath of office four. this is a workforce that committeda workforce that committed themselves to one of the most challenging missions in the country. and then you have to build the institutional controls and put them in the policy and get that stamped by the department of homeland security and turn to people
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like the inspector general and the secretary of homeland security and asked them to review the policy and put controls of the department level. can you bring in leaders that are career employees, which i have done. you bring in -- i brought in chief of operations, a man of superb integrity and who is responsible for couraging going forward. i will provide for you a list of those kind of actions we are taking, but the way you ensure it survives is not to let it be the decision of one individual anymore. >> one of the things, every member of this committee -- and i know for a fact of the chairman feels this way, if
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there is retaliation we have a major problem and will do everything in our power to protect whistleblowers. this reassignment, and i know your not doing it anymore, basically what they were doing is sounded like intentionally tearing up families, dividing them command really putting hardship on people. they were spending hundred thousand dollars in one case to do a reassignment that did not make sense except to retaliate. i want to know your position , how you deal with it. we want to be assured that if there are people who are doing that -- and i am telling you, you will get every member of our committee backing you up,
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but we want to know your position with regard to that and have you found any of that so far? you may have heard some things. >> i do not tolerate that. it is illegal, unethical commanded all the categories of the kind of people you don't want to the organization. the people who are doing most of those reassignments are no longer at the agency. i am interested andin is the result of the office of special counsel investigation into existing cases. depending ondepending on those findings i will take immediate action. it will not be tolerated. i do not know how extensive it was because we know that people have come forward, but i have made it clear.
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i directly support the rights of individuals to come forward. that is valuable information you get. and i will finish with this -- >> you are saying if there are people watching this at tsa who feel that they are being wrongfully retaliated against for some action is being taken against them that is illegal and improper , you are saying you have an open door. >> they can come directly to me, exactly. >> thank you very much. >> now recognize the gentleman from south carolina. >> thank you. i will be brief. i think we are probably all prisoners to a certain extent. while i am open and interested of the
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experiences and expectations of others, i have never had a problem. the folks are professional. my friend from florida and other people who consider themselves to be dignitaries other -- neither expect or accept preferential treatment. and a member of congress is a little bit of personal obligation to say no. so i am quite certain that your department can do better. i'm quite certain you have a plan to do better. i'm quite certain that congress can do better. we will focus on fixing us, and i trust you have a plan to fix tsa.
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i yield to the gentleman from florida. >> actually, i want to complement mr. cummings. sometimes he and i disagree, but his line of questions, i am not here just to buster jobs, but his line of questioning was from the other side of the aisle. what we heard raised great questions and was documented by staff. the amounts of money that were used to pay to transfer people in retribution, and then the other thing is, i was telling the chairman, i think you are good guy. you are good guide to be sent in to clean up the mess, but sometimes a leader
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is best as mushrooms, kept in the dark. what we heard is going on, you are being fed this information by these people who are protecting their rear ends. i'm trying to put this in terms that can be presented on c-span. again, this is our concern. i am not going to forget. we had a call of 20 or 30 minutes from curb to gate. that is when it was under the transportation committee, and we went out and did a thing. and it can be done. they do not have to hassle 95 percent of the people.
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we're supposed to be looking for the ones who are getting through. the attrition rate averages 10 percent. >> average. >> 4500. forty-five hundred is your. again, we are not going to get it. it is very hard to administer. they can't staff to traffic. one of your defenders, sometimes the pre- check line was longer than the others.
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it is not a thinking organization. i don't know how you get an advocate under federal supervision. the total number of bonuses paid in 2015 and 14. i want to know the maximum and minimum amount for the screeners. these guys were card. their macs is in the range of $300, and this guy is getting 80,000. if we paid them better, maybe we could retain them. it is not done on the cheap.
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>> i have some flexibility, not much. >> i yield back. >> yield for one 2nd. >> thank you. >> now recognize the german from massachusetts. >> thank you. good to see you again. only criticize you today about long lines, we will all you appear. we have that flexibility. and you do not. i have been a critic at times. the work you are doing in the work that you continue
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to do all we are going in the right direction. regarding -- let me ask upfront, we seem to rely a lot on the whistleblower. in the aviation and transportation security act, it says that employees may be hired and fired basically on the will of the management of tsa. as i understand it, the do not have ejection under title vii.
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>> they do have protection the way in which we govern the agency. i'll have to look at the case. >> not governed by the statute. >> but it was adopted. >> i will take your word for that. that is not really the protection that they need.
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>> we had a case a while ago. the no-fly list, terrorist watch list, and you came in and change the system. for those employees removed? and i realize the reason it was given was tsa was not. to those lists. allowed to be employed in airports and secure areas. when you went in ukraine that up, and i just want to know how. >> they were in the terrorist information data mode environment.
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this is information that may not indicated direct association. the answer back was that none met sufficient information to directly call the terrorist. >> many of them no longer hold their credentials. >> it was very valuable. allowed us to amend access which ultimately could feed into the terrorist watch list and now we do a full automated review. if anyone pops up in any category allows you to take
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a harder look at them which we do and then go back. we have to admit, this is a higher level of flexibility. >> that was exactly the question. working very closely with the director and the national counterterrorism center. >> you did a great job on the screening tests of the big airports. you know, we have a very high failure rate. >> i am not sure if enough time has gone by to allow new protocol to be adopted. has that happened? have you done any new tests to take a measurement of how you doing? >> we have done the natural follow-up.
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we have reviewed the 22 point plan to increase security at the check point. additionally we are finding more covert testing of a similar scale. we will be a little how we are doing. now recognize the gentleman from north carolina. >> i have been amazed to know how much money has been spent on previous relocations. we assignments, have you directed any of these during your tenure? >> his reassignment to maine exceeded. is that true? >> it is my understanding.
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>> would you agree that is no legitimate use of taxpayer dollars? >> it is inaccessible should have been spent. >> our involuntary relocation decisions approved? >> now the process -- 1st and foremost it must be looked at by the office of human capitol. is there a need. second, as the individual, if that is something they desire, want, 2nd, i must have a cio out to you -- cfo sign off on the ability to pay for it, and they, and it must be within a reasonable cost. finally, after it is reviewed we make a final decision. >> it sounds like you're trying to develop or implement a plan for the future. >> probably the biggest things that concerns me is the issue of mr. hogan.
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do you believe that is justified? >> i don't believe that is justified period. >> i am glad to here that. did he have a key role in directed reassignments? >> he had a role. it was not the only role. those came out of a different office. >> the office of security operations ultimately has to get the people move from one location to the other and perhaps carry out the order to make the movement happened. >> fair to say he hadhad a key factor. >> he had a role. >> in looking at his situation our involvement my sure you have considered replacing mr. hogan given his responsibility for the failure and directed reassignments and is questionable boss payments. >> i like to back up a little bit.
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>> i appreciatei appreciate that, but i would like you to answer the question. >> my 1st task is to see what my leadership team is able to do. everything i have asked has been done. i look at all of it. >> there have been past violations. have you had discussions? >> well, the inspector general took a look at the situation. i think there were people responsible for that. >> i know you're doing a great job. what is your role when it comes to some of the spending expenditures? petit had discussions or as their plan to remove him or put him on probation? >> i do not currently have a plan to remove mr. hogan.
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he has performed to my expectation since i have been there. >> even though we acknowledge there has been some. >> i don't acknowledge that he had indiscretions. i think he carried hours that resulted in people being reassigned, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes were ill considered reasons. >> it reminds me of the movie a few good men. they are carrying out the code red. if he is following orders is still doing something wrong there is accountability. >> some of those issues have been investigated and were recommended. we filled out the recommendations as necessary. i have not seen any direct misconduct on the part of mr. hogan the time that i have been there. >> and i appreciate that. our concern is with the facts we have before you arrived.
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my time is expired. i do hope that there will be some kind of looking into mr. hogan as far as these things they went on. i do think there is responsibility on his part. i have ten seconds left. you and your staff are always properly prepared command we appreciate it. >> now recognize the gentleman from virginia for five minutes. >> thank you very much. welcome both of you. let me start by saying, we appreciate the management reforms that you have undertaken. this is a big enterprise, difficult enterprise, critical mission with a lot of unsatisfying aspects to the job. very few human beings will
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make a 30 yeara 30 year career of telling people to take off their belts and shoes. and yet it is critical to the mission. and so not easy to keep people motivated to have a salary structure that makes sense, and i, for one, very much appreciate what you have done and hope you do not leave with the new administration and if you do, i hope you will give paul a call and join his team, as we need the kind of management reform you have undertaken. one little plug that ii always make, and i have seen in my other experience a big change, which i appreciate, and how we are treating the public. they are still got work to do. i have really been impressed and i just think when you create a more hospitable, friendly climate that
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invites cooperation you get it. and there is always a risk if you get a hostile public were resentful public that something can go wrong. why not go the former? and i thank you for that and hope you will keep that sense of culture present. we're not dealing with cattle. we are dealing with people. we need their cooperation and want them to feel good about their experiences much as they can. we have of public that gets it about the security mission and is willing to put up with more than i would have guessed, but we should make it as easy as part -- as easy as possible. i commend the two of you. let me 1st ask, having said all of that, i think there is a growing concern as a management challenge
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what is happening in terms of wait times. so, for example, 600 passengers miss their flights in charlotte, north carolina on good friday because of wait times that exceeded three hours. now, my guess is there were 600 people that day who did. it is one thing to understand that you will be inconvenienced. it is quite another that the price of that is moving so sluggishly and glacially that you miss your flight. 7,000 customers miss flights in march alone due to long waits and security lines. seattle has indicated they were trying to privatize passenger screening to expedite this process. could you address that? i think we have to agree
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that that is not acceptable. if that becomes routine, now we will get real public resistance. >> thank you for the question. we have seen increases in passenger volume, no doubt about it. and rear seeing more people moving through the system than ever before. to put it into perspective, four years ago a big day was about 1.6 million passengers. we are well above 2 million daily. so that is just a volume increase. i think we need to grow staff slightly and are working hard on that. we havehad an appropriations bill passed in december and began accelerating hiring. as you know, if you're wanting to reduce will be cut into that number well in advance of the fiscal year. they are hiring and meeting are quotas. we are people who want to come work here.
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>> it seems to me three hours is unacceptable. we ought to be settling for ourselves the timeframe that is acceptable to not go beyond. there was talk about staffing to traffic. >> and we have been working closely with the airlines and airports to understand when people's are coming through. i think we have improve significantly. i am not aware of any way times of the link you were referring to, and i tracked them daily, like a passenger volume daily. >> you might want to check good friday in charlotte. one final question. inspector general, do we have an anonymous online within tsa that people can call they feel something was untoward?
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and my county there is a hotline you can call and you are protected with anonymity and it is followed up by the inspector general. >> we have unmanned hotline as well as a website. you can use either of those ways to complain. >> and there is guaranteed follow-up. >> we will take a look at it. we get 18,000 18,000 a year. we can't guarantee everyone will be thoroughly investigated, but we look and evaluate. >> thank you. the chernow recognizes the gentleman from georgia. >> i think we have got a very bright facility with the law enforcement training center that the tsa is not utilizing to its full potential or to the
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potential that would be helpful. but how long on average dozen new hire have to wait before they begin training? >> i have good news to report. that academy stood up for the 1st time ever on january 1 of this year. we are pushing eight concurrent classes. we take about four months to onboard someone new and typically do so and get their security backgrounds and the like and then get them right into a training class. we are seeing the ability to move people right in. it is about average for five months, during that time you're going through the background checks on the like. >> what percentage go through? >> now we are putting
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100 percent of new hires. it used to be the case that we trained on-the-job. there going to make a couple of exceptions because of the need to get out in front of the summer travel season. there taking the curriculum and doing it in a couple of key locations. >> is that what is effective? >> right now. >> anything denied? >> we will do it on an as needed basis. we have been working to increase the operating.
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>> is there a clear policy to determine the as needed basis? >> yes. >> could you submit that to us? in regard to the bonuses, i would like to go back and ask questions. you are aware they were broken up in increments of 10,000. could you explain why the agency did it this way? >> as i understand it and as you know, that was done under previous leadership. the maximum amount allowed -- allowable. >> okay. some sort of scheme? >> i'm sorry, say again? >> smirking. >> am not familiar with the term. >> if there is $90,000 broken up in $10,000 increments, is that the type
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of thing i would need approval of dhs? >> i will tell you, there is nothing in my experience that makes the justifiable. >> why do you say that? >> it just doesn't pass the front page just. i just don't like it. i make sure that all of our bonuses are proved at the department level and have severely restricted -- severely restricted the. >> as we look at our report, it was an attempt to circumvent departmental regulation on approval. breaking up specific financial transaction to something below the reporting requirement, which is what happened here.
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individual responsible is no longer employed at tsa, and the regulation was so loose at the time that it was permissible come although clearly wrong. >> the intent is to hide. >> absolutely. >> is there anything currently preventing the agency from disguising bonuses? relocation or any other method? >> yes. i made that clear and policy and i'm happy to provide it. i require oversight from the department before a bonus to be awarded. >> i would like to have that policy submitted. you are saying by your testimony year that there is no disguise taken place?
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>> not under my leadership. up put that directly in the policy and make sure no single individual can approve a bonus award for a senior executive without oversight, and it must be approved by the department. not even myself to i have authority for final approval. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> the gentleman from missouri. >> thank you for being here. we all agree that security must be the top priority, and there is no disagreement about that. you testified here in november, you are critical of certain programs that granted passengers access to expedited screening lanes when they have not undergone a risk assessment.
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he also said, the activated certain risk assessment rolls they granted expedited screening through pre- check lanes. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> on march 24 the bureau of transportation issued a report that said they carried an all-time high. so the numbers of screeners in the tsa workforce has dropped by nearly 6,000. >> yes. >> y? >> i'm sure there were good reasons for the people before me to reduce. predicated on a prediction of expedited screenings.
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we are smaller agency than we were before and have significantly more people moving. >> you heard my friend talk about it. travel to st. louis, and they seem to have a shortage of employees, especially for the pre- check lane probably 90 percent of the time is closed. each time staff gives me the excuse that they do not have enough personnel line of security officers. so it is frustrating to my constituents who are paying the extra fee for pre- check is there a shortage of staff at airports? >> i think we have a shortage of staff, but we are moving people and to the
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areas of greatest wall you may need, hiring back people slated to be exited and pushing out about 200 new offices every week. i'm hoping to have sufficient staffing at peak times. we currently cannot staff effectively across the system. >> so tsa screener work force with increasing passenger volume. >> predicated on 2 percent volume growth. the budgets were build a couple of years ago. we are not at the right size. i appreciate the great comments, because we do have
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a dedicated workforce. i would like to get the more help. >> perhaps you can help me. i am annually giving a career fair in st. louis and would love to involve you, looking at particular candidates. on may 4 homeland security secretary j johnson said tsa is increasing the staffing to he the process. what is the size of the screening workforce that the tsa needs to handle the workload?
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>> well, i believe i can hire another 768 screeners this summer. we will get the mountain the workforce by june. that will significantly help. they also been working with the airports taking on non- securely -- nonsecurity related duties. the combination of those two and the use of passenger screening canines should significantly alleviate challenges. >> thank you for your response. >> recognize the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you. let me ask you, would you agree that having expert and
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standardized training likely have in georgia, that that is important to make sure we have personnel that is fully prepared to keep our airports safe? >> yes, sir. >> a bring that up because the federal law enforcement training center, i know you have been there. i look at that as being one of the areas -- to go down there -- and i want to invite those on this committee because we will try to schedule a trip. they are doing an outstanding job in the way of training. i want to make sure that we are not replacing well-trained employees.
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the problem is in performance and management. the shortage is not because they are not well trained. when you talk about employees not showing up on holiday and having a shortage during the busiest travel time, that is a management problem. i just want to make sure we understand that there is a difference. they are being trained well. it is a great facility used by 94 different agencies, and training is not the problem. >> thank you for that. and thank you for recognizing, i believei believe our frontline workforce is one of the best in the world. i meet as many of them as i can. that is a world-class institution, which is why
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was the efforts to have excited about the opportunity. .. tsa >> that is exactly right. as you can tell, there is a lot of upset people and we have a management problem at tsa and we where depending on you. let me pivot to another subject. a couple weeks ago, we had some employees here at tsa and they talked about the involuntary directed assignments. some that testified before us
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had gotten excellence remarks and in fact gotten awards for their outstanding job performance and yet they were reassigned against their will. the thing that concerns me, is not just the moving of somewhere else for these people, obviously that is a trying time for families and employees but the cost in it. we were told relocation were well over a hundred thousand dollars. is this happening? >> i share the same concerns you do. i stopped that policy completely. we don't do directed reassignment. that said, i think it is important for an operating agency to have the ability to move people periodically. >> i think they understand. but their concern was they were being disciplined as a result. >> that is what my concern was,
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too. so i put strong controls over that process. i will share with you the nature of those controls so we don't take up too much committee time. but i will tell you i am as concerned as you are about that. those reports greatly distressed me. i stopped that process and it will not happen again. >> good. we can take your word it is over with? >> yes, sir, you can absolutely take my word on that. >> thank you. i appreciate that and thank you for your dedication. again, mr. chairman, i am going to try to get that together but i want everyone to understand what a great facility this. this is an example of the federal government working. i yield back. >> we will recognize the gentle lady ms. wilson. >> i would like to talk about the hiring in details.
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in 2008, tsa awarded a 1.2 billion human capital service contact to lockede martin and under the contract, lockede administered the agency's process for recruiting and hiring and it is also responsible for personal and payroll processing services such as position classification. ad administrator, is that correct? >> that was the case, yes, ma'am. >> many of the improper personal things the whistle blower alenled including improper hiring and directive reassignment would have occurred as lockede was providing the services to tsa; is that correct? >> it was during the same time period, yes, ma'am. >> in 2009, a report about the lockede contract was issued.
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it stated there were incidents in which lockede martin failed to handle personal information correctly. is that correct? >> yes, ma'am. >> and the report found that they quote failed to find veterans and reported that the lockede mattern hiring teep, i quote, reported a total of 150 veterans who are not referred on six different jobs announcements. is that correct? >> yes, ma'am. >> if lockede martin failed to follow our federal regulations in regards to the competitive service hires, particularly veterans preference, this is simply intolerable. oh, administrator, are you familiar with the inspector general's report? >> i am, yes, ma'am.
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>> so what does tsa -- when does the tsa's contract with lockede matin martin end? >> it is coming to an end this year and we are restructuring our approach. i would like tsa to own more hiring, recruitment and potential policy. we are restructuring that. it is part of a plan to overhaul that part of the agency. >> in lieu of the contract ending, is this going to be put out to bid again? when you say assume, do you have the capacity and the resources as far as budget to be able to take on more of these responsibilities and hiring? >> we don't have all of the capacity we need. if i could get back to you with a fuller answer for the record we can show you what the plan is, what the strategy is for moving forward beyond the hr access contract. >> i want to be on the record
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that the issues brought forward in the hiring process, and we being a federal agency, is totally unacceptable. the fact we are ending a relationship with a company that didn't meet our bench marks is refreshing but i don't want to hear we are taking on the responsibility and later come back with concerns because you were not able to handle the capacity. >> yes, ma'am, i share those concerns. we have to do this in a way that protects the workforce as it currently exists and the potential workforce of the future. >> mr. roth, did you make any recommend azs on what the tsa could do to improve their hiring process? >> yes, we made five recommendations and tsa agreed
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with each and we are in the process of doing an audit follow-up to make sure they in fact doing what they said they were going to do. >> thank you. i look forward to moving forward under your leadership and protecting a group of employees in the federal government that, as so many others are, but being a member of congress and in the airport constantly, the respect i have for the agency, and the need for firm leadership and accountab accountab accountable, we need to move forward and i support you in the future. >> we will now recognize the gentlemen from north carolina, mr. meadows for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. inspector general roth, i want to go on record to thank you and your entire team for your service. i have great admiration of your role and and the role of your
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colleagues. i have a top five list and you are and your team are there for doing thorough, actionable and follow-up work that provides a real tool for members of congress so i want to make sure that the record reflects that. >> thank you. >> administrator neffenger, are you familiar with federal air marshall robert mcclain? >> yes, sir, i am. >> are you familiar with the fact the courts overturned tsa's assertions that his whistleblower disclosures were not prohibited by law? >> yes, sir, i am. >> are you aware of the fact that it has been over a year since an administrator judge has indicated those disclosures should, indeed, be protected? >> yes, sir. >> okay.
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so if you are aware of those and in light of the fact mr. cummings asked do you tolerate retaliation, in what scheme could you not see the fact that he has been reinstated but no raises and continues to be paid and not put in a position we would have been in had he not been fired? at what point can you justify that is not retaliation? >> i don't believe it is. i believe he was reinstated as required -- >> at a pay he was at in 2005. do you know any other tsa employee who is at a pay he was at in 2005? >> i will double check the pay. >> you don't have to. >> i cannot give you the exact pay. >> do police tsa employees get a raise? >> you get the annual cost of living increases. >> wolled you say if he didn't,
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that would be retaliation? >> i will check to see. >> yes or no? if he is get paid the same he was in 2005 is hat retaliation? >> i would have to see the facts of the case. >> i am giving you the facts of the case. is it retaliation or not? what bothers me is i protect my whistleblowers and for you to get up here and talk about how wonderful the rank and file are and how you are looking out for their best interest and see evidence retaliation continues to go it has a chilling effect. >> if there is retaliation i will look into it. >> why is the office of special counsel having to open up a full investigation? >> on mr. clk mcclain? >> yeah. >> are you talking about the one they have done? >> i am talking about the one they are about to embark on. >> if they are opening one, he made an allegation there is
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retaliation and i support his due process but i am not familiar with the -- >> don't you think you ought to be? >> i am in familiar that we reinstated him and he is in the position to compete. >> administrator, that testimony is very troubling to me, let me tell you. what i am not going to tolerate is retaliation on whistle blowers and that is what it looks like to me >> i don't tolerate it either. >> can you get back to this committee within 30 days with a way you are going to rectiify it? >> i will follow-up on the colloq colloquy. >> do i have your commitment? >> yes, sir. >> you will have an action plan within 30 days?
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>> i will get back what i found. >> what is a reasonable amount of time? >> i can do it within 30 days. this is new information i am not aware of. >> you have done your research and this isn't a shock this might have come up. is that a shock to you? >> i am aware of the previous issue concerning this federal air marshall. >> get it fixed where we don't have to waste taxpayer dollar on a special investigation into this. you are in charge, we will hold you accountable and i will yield back and expect a response to the committee within 30 days. >> we will now recognize the gentlemen from oklahoma, mr. russell, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i share my colleague's concerns about whistle blowers. obviously, i think while
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everyone who has the mantle of responsibility certainly wants to do right with their organization, when we do see individuals who have the courage to come forth, they have to be protected. that is the bipartisan resolution of everybody on the committee today. i want to take questions more on the security end and take it in a little different direction, however. inspector general roth, i, too, share my colleague's opinion of the confidence of your office and your personal diligence. the record has been outstanding. but my question today deals with paper weight dog teams in terms of security and you will see why here in a moment. did the ig in the reports make any recommendations on paper weight dog teams and how they should be deployed or how they
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should be used at different airports? >> we have not looked at that issue. my understanding is the joa may have done some work on that but we have not. >> i appreciate that. admiral neffenger, as a preferous, i take some comfort knowing you are at the helm of this administration. i don't think anyone has advanced to this level that have protected our shore lines and borders and i appreciate that. i think it gives you incredible insight. in oklahoma city, the paper
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weight issue came to mind because acting federal director steve court right sited it was the ig's reports as the reasons for the elimination of paper weight dog teams from airports such as will rodgers world airport. it was due to the need for performance and screening and getting people through and therefore these airports would have to lose their dog teams. in the case, although we had will rodgers that was one of the charter five original airports in the training of these teams. they trained four such teams very effectively. the entire program was elimin e eliminated from that airport and i suspect it is not the only one. my question to you is why would a federal security director make the claim it was the ig and their findings that would call for the elimination of that
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program and why would we not want these teams at airports that might have less capacity other than a huge airport but they also might have greater vulnerability for infiltration. it seems to me security-wise it makes sense. i realize this is not part of the normal but stuff it is important for security. >> i am not sure what the federal security director's discussion was. let me tell you what we have done from my perspective. we call them passenger screening dogs and they work the passenger line and they look for trace odors and follow them back to their source. it is tremendous resource and a great explosion detection technology we have and it can move people efficiently through a security line. i don't have as many of those dogs as i would like to have. this is my decision, so i am the guy you need to look at, it was
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my decision to take dogs from some airports that are not seeing as much volume as the largest's airports for the coming summer in order to meet what we know to be the real passenger volumes we will see in the large airports. it was never my intention to eliminate their use. these dogs are trained to do cargo screening and not passenger and we are converting them as fast as possible. it takes about a month. we are continuing to do that >> i would ask, and security has been much of my life and a lot of my interest here in congress, i would ask that we would consider -- if i were an enemy, i would infiltrate in small or regional airports and deploying all of the assets, once you get into the loop you are inside the
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loop no matter where you originated from. i would ask you look from a vulnerability stance, not so much political stance, but we ought to relook putting everything where we expect to have a problem and maybe leave areas vulnerable where we don't. with that, i yield back. >> thank you. i recognize the gentlemen from alabama, mr. palmer. >> i am the guy you have been waiting on -- the last one. administrator neffenger, how many have led the office since the tsa was created? >> i don't know the exact number. i will get that to you. >> 11. i ask that because it concerns me the office suffers from that rate of turnover.
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would you agree? >> turnover in offices is challenging always. >> particularly the office responsible for your intelligence and analysis. are you looked into that? >> yes, sir, and i brought in a new chief of intelligence and one thing i asked him to do was make sure we build a world-class, high quality intelligence operation and he is in the process of doing that. >> that is mr. bush? >> tom bush, yes, sir. >> are you aware of any security violations committed by oia officials? >> i am not sure if you are refferencing anything in particular? >> i am asking you have are aware of any security violations committed by oia officials? >> i know prior to my arrival
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there was an employee being investigated. >> that answer is yes? >> yes. >> you believe they should follow the rules handling classified information? was that the issue? >> my understanding is that is not what the issue was about. >> what were the circumstances related to the departure of former administrator steven saddler. >> oh, with steven saddler. i need to familiarize myself with that case. >> there were multiple security violations that took place under his leadership. what percentage of tsa funds are used for vetting and what percentage used for general intelligence? >> a significant amount of activity is spent on vetting and undering the vetted population.
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we also have a strong -- understanding -- analysis branch that works with the intelligence community members to provide specific intelligence assessments of transportation security challenges and risks. >> one of the -- i am going to transition a little bit here. one of the things i am concerned about is in our last hearing there were repeated reports there are only three u.s. airports that currently require employee security checks. are you aware of that? >> that is actually not correct. it depends on what you mean by security checks. anyone who holds dash >> i am talking about requiring them to go through the same kind of security that, say, a staff member. >> this would be screening of individuals as they are -- >> as they are reporting for work. i should have been more clear. apologize.
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>> there are currently 3-4 airports that themselves do security screenings. there are other places where employers provide security screening. we are at varying levels for direct screening. everyone has access requirements. that is a fundamental requirement. those access requirements are with their badge and those badges give you access to certain locations and then there are some airports that have gone beyond that to do actual screening. we in tsa, do random screening throughout the sterile area of the airports as well. >> that gets back to my concern. every member of my staff, every member of any member of congress' staff has to go through a screening process. their bags are screened, they have to take metal objects out of their pockets. they all have badges. okay? and that is part of my concern. out of the thousands of people who work for tsa does it not create any concern?
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i mean it was reported there were a number of tsa employees who had some tie to terrorist groups. it just seems to me they ought to go through the same screening process that -- >> we have no tsa employees that have ties to terrorist groups. we vet our people daily and if we found that they would be gone. >> i am telling you in other hearings that came up. apparently it was reported there were some who had some connection to terrorist or a potential terrorist ties. i am bringing it up in the context of out of the thousands of people that work for tsa, all who have security badges, it makes sense before they enter these critical areas that they go through a screening process like everybody else. their bag goes through the machine, they go through the machine. >> first of all, there are the people who are not tsa employees
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who have access badges to airports and we vet those people continuously against -- there is a population of about 900,000 or so in the aviation system that have access badges of some time and it is varying types of access and not all accessing the same locations, those people are continuously vetted against the terrorist screening database and extended elements, the so-called tie ba database. >> we are not talking about the same thing. >> and tsa employees are also vetted against -- >> we are not talking about the same thing. it has been reported there is thousands of badges that have been lost or stolen. let me say -- that haven't been accounted for. when they report for work, do
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they have to put their bag on a conveyer to see what in the bag? >> some locations they do and some they don't >> my contension is it ought to be all locations. i yield back. >> i haven't asked questions so i would like to recognize myself for probably more than five minutes. let's talk about the involuntary reassignments. you have spoken about that. you said there is or is not evidence that was done for retaliation? >> i don't have any direct evidence. what i am waiting for is to see the results of the office of special council on a couple people who made such allegations. >> the office of special count patience stated andrew roads directed assignment and becky orring's suspension due to
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evidence there were cases of improper whistle blower retaliation. are you saying you are waiting for the final records? >> mr. rodes has an outstanding investigation that is still pending. in the mean time, i was pleased to see prior to my arrival that had been stayed and he is still located -- >> what about becky orrings? >> i understand hers is undergoing review as well. >> you have no evidence of other retaliation? any other types of retaliation above and beyond the redirected assignment tool they used? >> i don't have personally any knowledge of any other retaliation. if i see it, i will take action to address it. >> mr. roth, do you have anything to shed on this? >> i do not. i don't have any evidence i could share today.
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>> administrator, particularly over the last six months, i have a two-sided page of outstanding requests from the committee. we will give you a copy of this. there are some that have no standing copies. i don't expect you on the spot but we need help getting these responses in a timely manner. some have been good but others have been not-so-good. some we had nothing on. we get frustrated with having to do in-camera reviews. we handle classified intelligence information on a regular bases. i need your support in responding to these outstanding requests. >> yes, sir, i will. >> i want to go back to what mr. palmer was talking about. you said you vet daily. i want to get a crystal-clear picture. when somebody applies and goes
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through the process of working for the tsa they get what sort of background check sph >> it is a standard national agencies check. the same time you do for people coming in the military. criminal history, check their name against the terrorist screening database, you look for any disqualifying activities/offenses or the like in a background >> there are some infractions that are still acceptable to be hired. >> there are. i cannot enumerate them off the top of my head >> if you can provide the current standard. >> yes, sir, i will. >> and you said you vet those daily. if somebody were to get arrested, or somebody had an assault charge or murder charge, pick something heinous, how would you know that once they have been hired? >> well, after they have been hired? >> yeah. >> we do recurrent criminal background checks >> how often?
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>> i believe it is an annual bases. i will verify that. and we do daily recurrent, continuous test checks against the terrorist screening datab e database. >> 450 airports, i am not sure how many ports you are dealing with, how many of these -- you mention 900,000 security badges of all sorts. >> in the aviation system. >> in the aviation system -- so how many of those, do you have a sense of how many have biometric information even as simple as a photograph? >> they all have photographs. these are the badges at airports and airlines issue individuals. it is set individually at each airport. a badge you have for atlanta will not work in any other airport. they are issued by employeers. there is a federal security
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standard they have to meet. they have to have photo graphic ids and a biometric identifier but not all of them are in use for access purposes at every airport. >> when you say biometric, one of the issues in the past is they didn't have electronic readers for each of these. >> i don't want to confuse this with the transwoportation worke card is not use in the aviation. that is primarily used in the m maritime system. that doesn't have a reader. in the mari time world that biometric is not in use. it is a card issued with a background check. it has a biometric on it but not all of the reader are out there. that is a government-issued
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card. it a joint program between the coast guard and tsa. it doesn't apply to aviation workers. that is a much larger population of people who hold that card. >> you should not be able to use it at an airport? >> you cannot. >> shipping, cruise lines? >> yes, sir. truckers that interact with the ports and the like. >> okay. that is one of my bigger concerns is the access that so many people have. dulles airport alone has 16,000 security badges out there. to mr. palmer's point, what he is talking about is why not check people who go -- why not check tsa employees as they go in and out? you check a pilot. i stand there and they go to the front of the line, as they should, pilots are checked. if we are trusting somebody it is trusting a pilot. why not check each person?
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>> we do check each person. they do recurrent drug testing, we vet them against databases and watch them every day. they are standing in the security checkpoint day in and day out. >> pick whatever you want in a ba ba backpack and walk past and you would never know. >> that is not true. we have a good integrity testing. >> you are checking and screening every person going through except the tsa people. >> they are checked by definition when they show up in the morning. they are vetted every day. we look at them every single day. they are probably some of the most watched people in the transportation system because they are under the watchful eyes of supervisors, under the watchful eyes of the other screening workforce. so i believe we are doing a very good job of keeping track of
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those folks. these are really good people >> by and large i am sure they are really good people. but when you have a zero tolerance for -- you have to keep security at its highest level and i don't understand it. you check the pilot and flight attendant but not the tsa folks going. and you have had arrests. there have been problems. >> we have had arrests. >> it is not as if it has never happened. your ability to move drugs, weapons, or anything else across that line. mr. roth, do you have any insight into this? >> i don't. >> i want to move to dogs. i am a huge fan of dogs. the person i want to sit next to on the airplane is the person who had luggage screen, handheld information screened and walked by a dog.
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i have never seen this technology useded at the white house, afghanistan where they are dealing explosive devices. europe has banned some of this technology. but we use it here in the united states. i appreciate your comments about the dogs but the single best way to secure an airport from an ex plosive device is a dog. would you agree with that? >> i think it is a huge important piece of a security environment. i like dogs, too. i am a big fan and have been advocatiing for more in the screening and aviation security environment. >> we need more of them and i hope the appropriations follow appropriately. i want to compliment the tsa on its instagram presence. you want to see an entertaining instagram go to the tsa one. you have 400,000 plus people looking at it.
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but it is also scary because almost on a daily bases, the one i looked at just now there was a smoke grenade someone tried to bring on an airport, at dwi there was a picture of a gun they had taken off a person. the rise of people bringing or attempting to bring guns on airports is astronomical. the statistics are quite high. i don't see there is much consequences. i don't hear anybody getting prosecuted. we have a $10,000 fine and you can go to jail but find me a person in this country and if you don't know and understand you cannot bring a gun on an airplane where in the world have you been living? a lot of people come and say i forgot i had my gun.
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well, go put it back in your car. i believe in the second amendment, i am as pro-gun as you can get, but if you don't know you have a loaded gun on you and are trying to bring it an on airplane, why are some of these people not going to jail? >> i am as shocked as you are by people that bring guns to the airport and you are right, we saw many more last year. tsa is not a law enforcement agency so i don't have authority to take action. when we see a gun it is held in the x-ray machine, we call local law enforcement and it is up to them to take action. we can take action and take away pre-check eligibilities but we have to turn them over to local law enforcement. >> what would you like a local law enforcement to do?
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>> we know we have laws in the land where people are allowed to con se conseal carry and open and in many states they say take it back to your car and sometimes they are arrested. if you are in your state you may not get arrested. some place else, you might get arrested. i don't want that stuff coming through the checkpoint. >> live smoke grenade. trying to bring it on an airplane? what should happen? >> we are working very hard. we encourage local law enforcement to take as strong of action as they can. i think if somebody brings a live smoke grenade on a plane they should not be allowed to fly anymore but i don't have the authority to make that decision. >> let's recognize the gentlemen from wisconsin, mr. grossman, for five minutes. >> thank you. in the past, the committee heard
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numerous recounts of line staff being punished for minor infractions while high level managers went unpunished for significant abuse. is there a double standard if an employee can be fired for picking up a pen during an integrity tist but senior officials that engage in serious misconduct such as lying to the police about a dui be allowed to keep their job? >> we are doing this -- i think there needs to be work done don the way in which we do discipline and performance management across the board. the aviation security act setup a biforcated system that needs to be consolidated and coordinated. >> this is more of a comment i want you to respond.
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in this job, i fly a couple times a week. i have never seen a situation where the pre-check line is longer than the regular line. and i can speak on behalf of most people, i wish more people were put in the pre-check line. i hear people complain they wish they could go through the line longer. just so you know there is another side of the story. i have another question. tsa spent $47,000 on an app to randomly assign people to go right or left that any basic knowledge of codes could do. do you feel that app was worth it? >> i think it was an ex excessive amount of money. that was done in 2013 and we are not using that. >> mark livington the former deputy administrator assistant testified a watch transformation
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that was supposed to cost three million cost 12 million because it was performed improperly. are you familiar with that? >> i am not sure which one he is referring to. we have done a complete review of the entire acquisition process and there are lots of opportunities to save the taxpayer money in the current processes. >> one more thing mr. livingston said. he said there is half a million in equipment sitting in boxes. are you familiar with that? >> i am not familiar but i will go back and look for that. >> okay. i will yield the remainder of my time. >> mr. cummings for five minutes >> i will be brief. i think to thank you both of your -- i want -- testimony. after the last hearing on the
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tsa, admiral, we had a guy, my staff gave this to me this morning, a land written letter from one of the whistle blowers and i never read a letter into the record that was addressed to me like this but i am reading it for a reason and i will explain. this is one of the whistle blowers. dear sir, thank you for your leadership in direct fairness in the hearings on the issues of tsa's potential misconduct. you spoke truth to power when you asked and demanded a fair and balanced hearing. you breathed air into our agency and gave hope to all the men and women when you asked for the facts. we all of us at tsa now believe that congress can and will fix tsa.
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thank you, sir. you have inspired all of us to renew our faith in the process of accountable leadership and i wish you continued success and i will leave the name out. the reason i read that is because there are people depending on us. and they just want to get it right; you know? a lot of times i hear negative things about employees, that is federal employees, and state government, but i tell people that a lot of these people, and most of them come out, they have a mission, and they want to serve the public, and they want to treat them right. they are stresses that come with the job. i mean any elected official will tell you they can be in the super market and maybe somebody comes up and says hello, and
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somebody says congressman, hello. by the seventh or eighth person they don't realize they are the eighth person that called him and doesn't realize he has to get home but that is part of the job. i realize that a lot of the things the employees do i am sure can get munotmous and the chairman was showing me the photos of all of the knives, and guns and grenades and things people, i am sure in many instances, most instances, are accidently trying to get through. we do not have room for error. i read the letter because i want to remind you, and i know i don't have to do this, but there are so many people who want us to help. they want you to help and they want us to help.
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when i listen to those whistler blowers and i heard all of their testimony the theme that ran through the whole thing was they simply wanted the best for the public and for the agency. they were not show boating. they probably didn't want to be here even. but they, like many of our federal employees, they had a desire that their agency would be the elite of the elite. and that is the kind of reputation i want to get to. i want people to be very proud to be a tsa employee. i want them, when they say, i work for the tsa, to stick out their chests and say this is a great organization. but again, keep in mind what i said, if you go back and you listen to all of the things they
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said, they talked about a few bad apples in the leadership and excluded you, by the way. it said you were doing a good job. i beg you to keep all of that in mind. i appreciate your efforts, i know it is difficult and mr. roth i want to thank you, and i rope you will continue to work together -- hope. this is how it is supposed to work. we need the critical eye of just a great lawyer and a great ig like you, mr. roth. but then we need the response to be appropriate so with that, mr. chairman, i yield back and thank you again for the hearing >> thank the gentlemen. now recognize mr. mica from florida for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i spoke earlier about the attrition rate which overall is about 10%. about 4500 a year. and then the new hires we are loosing about 30% of those and
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38% of the non-tsa which is information we got from you. the problem is that is an average. you have 30 airports in the country that handle 75% of the traffic and those numbers are much higher. i know los angeles, a whole host of the big ones have had problems recruiting, retaining, training, and hiring. you actually have defered -- you hold mr. heist you have lots of people going through with a few exceptions but you actually have given authority to 21 airports, almost all of those the largest in the country, isn't that correct? >> -- for local training and hiring? >> it will not be at 21
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locations. >> waivers to 21 locations. boston, jfk, miami, lax -- the big ones. >> yes, sir. >> and i know generally -- i don't -- have a problem with that. i think you can get people to do the training and there are firms that will do that and maybe internally it can done but i want that in the record. i disagree with the gentlemen who last spoke. i talk to him about at every airport screening the employees through a metal detector. in orlando and miami book fair it is a waste and i don't know if you are still doing it in atlanta. you need to be vetting the employees before they are hired and you need to be vetting even the tsa people, which are not all getting cleared, the people who work in the secure areas.
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we had a hearing and thousands didn't have social security numbers. many hundreds and hundreds of them are foreign nationals with working papers that we don't know anything about. that is what concerns me. the people who have access to secure areas. vetting and monitoring those people, knowing who they are. the dogs, there is an opinion about dogs. dogs right now don't deal with the threat that we face. the threat is a non-nitrate base plosive and the dogs and equipment can't detect that. you know that, don't you? i can tell you it is yes. i tested the system and ordered more tests of the system for the first time in years and will reconfirm that. this thing about getting guns and knives and all of this. they are not going to take down a plane. those people don't pose a risk.
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maybe they did it accidently. do you know any of them that intended to take down a plane of those guns and knives that you took? none of them. but i do know that known terrorist have gotten through the system. that concerns me. i do know your intel and analysis division is in chaos from what i have been told. your intel division lacks a classification guide we were told which is a breach of classification guidelines. did you know that? >> i don't believe we lack any guide, sir. >> well, again, that is what we are told. it says lacks the classification guide. this is information given to us. also, reportedly, does not have the capability to internally vet and dissiminate intelligence in real-time. any dissimitation must be vetted
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and approved by dhs and the fbi. sort of a bureaucracies of sorts. and again, i would ask you to respond also to that intelligence analysis. the spp program, to solve your problem, you have to get out of the screening business. you need to set the rules, oversee it, and audit and let the private secktor do it. we will never get it right with 45,000 personal across the whole country. it is just not going to work. i can assure you no matter what you do. i want to speed up the spp process. it takes a year. can you pre-qualify people that
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provide screening services? >> i will have to check the exact rules. >> i would like to see that. this is the first thing that requires 120 days. we will have dozens of airports that opt-out but you can set the rules, you get out of this mess and into the security business which will save us from another terrorist attack. i would like a response on how we can clean this up so it doesn't take that long as part of the record. and finally, mr. chairman, i have asked for information about salaries, both within the district and then overall i want to say for the record, the amount for screening and the non-screening physicians in your highest paid positions, a complete list of them and the totals and salaries. thank you. i yield back. >> as we wrap up here, mr. neffenger, last point i want to make.
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we have a request and i want to reiterate the bonus policy. one of the criticisms from i believe the inspector general is there wasn't really a bonus policy in place. in 2015, the senior members that were the ta/es members who made less than $160,000 were ineligible for a bonus even if they achieved the highest level of excellence. but if you made more than $160,000, even if your performance evaluation was lower you could get a bonus. that seems so upside down and wrong. >> i will get you the policy for the record, mr. chairman. >> mr. roth, any comment? >> no, just what was in the investigation which is the policy was very loose but we had a commitment from tsa they would fix the policy and my understanding is they have. >> it is something we would like to look at.
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mr. roth, last question, what are your biggest concerns? >> the size of the enterprise, two million passengers a day, tsa as the checkpoint operator but tsa as the regulator of the airports, it is a monumental task that will take time to fix. >> we appreciate you both. we have great confidence in the administrator but also in the inspector general who plays a vital role. you each represent a lot of employees and people who are good, hard-working patriotic people trying to do the right thing and for that we thank you. we have a mutual relationship in terms of trying to weed out the bad apples and they are there. to the extent we can make it smarter and more fair i think it will improve the moral and make
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the pop wlagz -- population more secure. thank you to the men and women who do the hard work every day. with that the committee stand ad ad adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible] no-no on. [inaudible] >> book tv has 48 hours hours of nonfiction books and authors every weekend. here are some programs to watch for this weekend. on saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern on afterwards, don watkins, author of equal is unfair. >> the reason i say inequality isn't a problem is because we are concerned with not how much money you have, but how did you get it. did you get it through something that was fair or through a process that was unfair? when you try to equalize people who earn their money honestly, that is something we are challenged to think that's not a fair way to treat people. >> they say he is interviewed by -- on sunday afternoon at 430, pete had said, iraq and, iraq and afghanistan war veteran and former ceo of vets for freedom.
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he talks about a public address and offers his revision for americans today. >> this book is not about me or roosevelt litigating his, where he is on the political spectrum. it is a call to action. to me, it is meant to inspire, motivate, and remind americans of every generation what makes america special. and that it is worth fighting for. some of us carried a rifle, many in this generation still do, but you do not have to carry a rifle to be in the arena. it is our job to instill in every generation the principles that perpetuate what is as you all here now an experiment in freedom. >> at 10:00 p.m. eastern aaron mccue in her book, political suicide. >> what should be a series of apple activity in which the future of this america rest it is part of think costumes,
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ethical disappearing act and most early clients. instead it becomes a three ring support. we are so fatigued by the time the med is slung, the skeletons come out of the closet and election days over that we are often exhausted by new legislators before they even had a chance to start the job. >> she recounts memorable missteps in american history. go


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